Summertime!!!

I love summertime…..

my family thrives in the summertime….we truly need to live somewhere that has a warm climate year round!!

This is much better than

THIS!!!!

My family loves summertime for many reasons……let me name a few….

THE BEACH!!!!!  We vacation at the beach every summer…..we all wish we lived on a beach!!!

LONG BIKE RIDES!!!  We take long bike trips with the kids on the backs of our bikes…both of our kids are still under 50 lbs and still fit in the bike carrier 🙂  We usually pack a backpack and ride the whole day….our latest adventure involved a trail in a forest, poison ivy, mosquitos the size of frogs, getting lost for at least an hour, coming to a dead end and having to turn around and backtrack, and me falling twice into a patch of GREEN LEAVES!!!  We made it out alive though….no poison ivy but we did manage to get eaten by the ravaging mosquitos and I would not suggest riding trails with kids on the back of the bikes….but it was an adventure to say the least!!

THE ZOO!!!  We have a zoo membership and go as often as we can….we LOVE spending time at the zoo!!

VACATIONS!!!  We love to get away anytime that we can -who doesn’t love vacations!!!???

BIRTHDAY PARTIES!!!

Themed parties are always so fun!!!

GRADUATIONS!!!

My son graduated from his 4 year old preschool class and now he is ready for kindergarten!!!

ORGANIC BERRY PICKING!!!!

We like to find organic berry patches and eat, I mean pick as many berries as we can!!!  🙂

YES, we love summer!!!!

What do you look forward to during the summer???

Come and connect with me on Facebook!!!

How to make Healthy Homemade Ice Cream!!

Most of you already know that my son has food allergies.

My daughter has some too but she is older and most of hers are not life threatening or serious at this point.  She will get an itchy tongue or hives around her mouth if she eats something her body rejects such as peanuts and some dairy (not sure why but not all dairy) and she has reactions to items with eggs sometimes too….again not sure why it’s sporadic….

My son on the other hand I have to be careful with.  His allergic reactions are much more severe and his body seems to be much more sensitive to foods.  He also has dairy allergies, nut allergies (he can have almond milk though), and he has sensitivities to wheat/gluten.

I have always had to figure out ways to keep my kids nourished and healthy but also making their food choices yummy so they never feel as though they are missing out on what the other kids may be eating.

I have found many ways to make yummy and fun foods…..

I want to share one of them with you!!!

Banana Ice Cream!!

This recipe is so easy….uses basic ingredients…and tastes delicious!!

I apologize for not having the exact recipe rather just the concept of how its done!!

First, I always take my brown bananas and peel them.  I place them into Ziploc bags and freeze them.  I use these frozen bananas for smoothies and ice cream!!  When the grocery stores clearance their brown bananas I stock up for pennies!!!

These will be future smoothies or ice cream!!

So, once you have some frozen bananas….take them out of the freezer and place them in your blender.

I add some alcohol free vanilla that I get from Trader Joe’s. Just a splash or two!

I also mix in some agave, maple syrup or raw honey to sweeten this up a bit…

I also sometimes add in a splash or two of almond or coconut milk to help get the blender moving.

Once I have a soft serve type consistency I transfer the mixture over into my handy dandy ice cream maker.  You don’t need this step but it makes the ice cream less like soft serve and more like actual ice cream!

You can add in any other ingredients too!!

Cacao powder or cocoa powder for chocolate ice cream….

some mint extract and chocolate chips or cacao nibs for Mint chocolate chip ice cream…

you can add cinnamon and pecan bits for a yummy version of Butter pecan….but

this day I decided on strawberry ice cream….

so I took some frozen strawberries

and blended it with a little water…

and I ended up with this strawberry puree which I added to the banana mixture and then placed it into my ice cream maker!

and then I just let that run for about 40 minutes or so.

While I waited I got some yummy toppings ready!!

From top left in order….crushed up gluten free sugar cones, fresh organic raspberries, vegan (non dairy)chocolate chips,  non dairy chocolate sauce, shredded coconut pieces, and SunButter!!!

I was pretty disappointed to return to my ice cream maker to find my ice cream wasn’t getting firmer but I had held my kids back long enough and they wanted to feast so I poured the ice cream into bowls and let them cover their ice cream in toppings!

My daughter’s creation!

and my sons creation…notice how simple his is??  He really doesn’t like to mix his foods much….even when it’s dessert!

He would eat all of those topping separate but mix them together and he gets weird about it!!  LOL

Oh well, they were both delicious and of course I had a bowl too!!!

🙂

Have you ever made homemade ice cream before?

What did you use for yours??

Come and chat with me on facebook!!

Like my recipes??

I have 3 recipe Ebooks available…. read about them here!!

Want to have me speak to your group of friends and share some great tips and recipes??

Read about that here!!

Ways I get my kids to eat healthy….

I posted awhile back about foods that my family likes to eat-if you didn’t see the post you can read it here.

It was such a fun post and I received so many great comments that I wanted to show more pics of what we have been eating lately!!!

My daughter’s new favorite is fresh papaya with fresh squeezed lime juice!!!

I am not a HUGE fan of papaya plain but it is really great with lime juice…..if you tried papaya before and you weren’t crazy about it-try it again this way!!

My husband has been enjoying this in his lunches….

fresh strawberries, raspberries, and bananas sprinkled with dried blueberries and cacao nibs.  This is so yummy and I love to eat it too!!!  I also love to drizzle it with some almond butter!!

This has been one of my favorites lately…..these are oat groats that were soaked and dehydrated.  I mixed them with almond butter and topped them with fresh raspberries, cacao nibs and some almond milk!!

I also make it with fresh strawberries!!!

I also tried these drinks….KeVita….they are a fermented coconut water…delicious!!!

But, I am really loving my own homemade brews of kombucha!

My son enjoys his fruit all alone….this is a starfruit, his daily choices though include apples, bananas, and oranges.

My kids like to eat their oranges sliced really thin so they can pull the skin off and eat orange rounds!

I also have to show my kids favorite lunch…..kale salad, watermelon, snap peas and honeydew!!!

We eat kale salad a few times a week!!!

My kids like to drink fresh squeezed orange juice with chia seeds!!

OH, and let’s not forget our new favorite!!

For an occasional treat we indulge in Coconut Ice Cream….these are amazing!!!

SO much better than any dairy ice cream I have EVER had!!

Last, but not least….GREEN SMOOTHIES!!!

We love green smoothies around here….I make one for my husband to take to work everyday, I have one for breakfast every morning, and my kids enjoy them during meal or snack times!!

WOW!!

All this yummy food turns my kids into SUPERHEROS!!!

I hope you enjoyed…..what is your family favorites???

I would love to connect with you on Facebook!!!

Like my recipes??

I have 3 recipe Ebooks available…. read about them here!!

Want to have me speak to your group of friends and share some great tips and recipes??

Read about that here!!

Amazing Grass Products and Giveaway!!

I love smoothies, juices, and salads……

I love eating green foods and feeling good about putting great food into my body and into my kids!!

I also feel good when I find great supplemental products that can add to my food choices….

have you ever heard of

Amazing Grass??

They are a company that sells organic and green superfoods!!

I was lucky enough to do a review of some of their products!!

Check out what they sent me!!!

I tried one of the bars first and really liked it-I placed the rest in my purse and car for those times that I was out and would have no food available but needed something.  I liked the ones with chocolate but I didn’t care for the berry flavored one….just my personal preference though.  I thought it would have tasted better covered in chocolate but not everyone is a chocolate lover like me!!!  🙂

They were great for those times that I was hungry and had nothing with me!!!

I could eat and know that I was still putting good quality ingredients into my body!

I was very impressed with all of the Amazing Meal packets and the Vanilla Chai packet.  My favorite being the chocolate flavored Amazing Meal……I could see myself having one of these smoothies everyday!

I just mixed the packet with almond milk, a banana and ice and blended it up!!

I threw some cacao nibs on top for fun!!!

I also really enjoyed the Orange Creamsicle Green Superfood….I mixed it with coconut milk in the shaker cup they sent me!!!  It was so quick and easy!!!  GREAT afternoon snack!!!

This one I just added to water and shook up…..but I didn’t love it.  It was lemon-lime flavored so I threw it in the blender with a banana and some stevia and  blended it into a smoothie and it was much better!!!

There were several kid packets and I tried all of them with my kids and they drank them!!  I blended each of the kid flavored packets with almond milk, ice, and a banana and served it to them with lunch and they had no idea they were drinking a powder drink mix filled with added nutrients!!!

These mixes are amazing! Here is the ingredient list!!!  I am listing from WildBerry Kids Superfood drink Mix: wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa, asparagus, lima bean, green peas, kale, kiwi, spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans zucchini, apricot, carrots, mangos, pineapple, sweet potato, tangerine, yellow squash, pomegranates, raspberries, guavas, cranberries, red cabbage, cherries, tomatoes, beets, plums, grapes, and blueberries!!

WOW!!!

That is amazing!!!  What’s more amazing is that my kids drank it and liked it!!!

🙂

I would recommend these products for kids or adults…..and I am giving one lucky reader a chance to try some of the products out for themselves!!

The winner will receive 9 sample packets including one kids sample!!!

Here is how you can enter!!

Please leave individual comments for each of the following below. Be sure to also leave your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner. 

1. Become a fan of  Color Wheel Meals on facebookLeave a comment on this post saying you did.

2. Sign up to receive my newsletters and blog posts!!  Leave a comment saying that you did!! 

3. Share this contest on your blog, linking back to this post. Leave a comment to let me know you did.

4. Follow me on Twitter @Rawkinmom. Comment on this post, saying you did.

5. Tweet about this contest and then leave a comment with your Twitter name.

6. Post a link to this contest on your Facebook page and then leave a comment that you did.

Good Luck!!!  Winner will be randomly drawn on May 16th!!!! Winner will be notified by email.

Want to enter another giveaway????

Check out Healthy Hoggin’s website!!

http://healthyhoggin.com/2011/05/chlorella-giveaway/

*THIS PRODUCT WAS PROVIDED TO ME IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. I WAS NOT COMPENSATED BY THIS COMPANY AND ALL OF THE OPINIONS PROVIDED ON THE BLOG ARE 100% MY OWN.

What we’ve been eating lately……

One of the things I have been doing a lot of lately is speaking to groups of people (mostly moms)and sharing ways to incorporate more fresh foods into their families diets.  I demonstrate a few recipes and let everyone sample each one.

I share ideas that have worked for my family.

I LOVE doing this because it always turns out to be such a great time!!

BUT,

I always get the same question every single time-

“What do you eat?”

OR

“What do you feed your kids?”

I always joke that I do not “cook” -instead, I “assemble!”

So, here are some pictures of our favorite things-this is not ALL we eat, nor is this the only foods we eat…..it is just the things that seem to find their way into our days most often!!

We love green smoothies

We go through lots of oranges for fresh orange juice

A yummy snack is banana, sunbutter, ground flax, maple syrup

My kids favorite lunch is kale salad

Lots of fresh fruit set out for my kids to indulge in whenever they want

We love salads-although this one was my lunch…my kids won’t eat tomatoes in their salads…go figure!!

Lunch time for my kids is always an assortment of fresh fruit, veggies, and some sort of protein.

They don’t always eat everything on their plate…they pick and choose and sometimes they trade with each other, for example my daughter may not want her cantaloupe that day but my son will eat it.  He may give her his coconut for a trade.

If there is leftovers from lunch I usually save it and serve it for dinner…if something still doesn’t get eaten then I will use that cut up fruit in a smoothie or I will freeze it for a smoothie on another day.

This day they ate carrots, snap peas, dried blueberries, cucumber slices with homemade dressing, 2 olives, a Bubbies pickle, banana with sunbutter and drizzled chocolate and sprinkled with ground flax seeds

On another day they had cantaloupe, dried blueberries and dried coconut flakes,cucumber slices with dressing, apple slices and sunbutter, and a Bubbies pickle

We love our green juice too!!  This one is apples, spinach and limes!!

Another lunch example is kale salad, watermelon, carrots, sunbutter and homemade lemon slushies

I love to use neat containers to serve my kids food in.  It makes it fun for me and them!!  When I have 5 or 6 sections to fill up it forces me to think of ways to fill them.  Then my kids have a ton of choices to choose from. Our on the go lunches might look like this: carrots, sprouts, strawberries, mango, plum, apple slices, sunbutter and almond butter, and a vegan brownie

I love to use these plates because they are in the shape of a color wheel!!!! These are cool because each section comes out so if my kids don’t eat something I can just pick up that section and cover it and place it in the fridge.  Once dinner rolls around I can just pull it out and put it back on the tray.  It also makes it easy for my kids to trade!!  They can just pick up a section and trade for another!!

Here they had sugar peas, apple slices, tortilla chips, kiwi, mango, and sunbutter

Here they chose from banana slices, honeydew, homemade salsa, blue corn tortilla chips, cucumber, and pomegranate

I try to make sure that my kids have a ton of exposure to fruits (which are calorie dense) and most veggies.  There are times that I make something that doesn’t go over well, or that they just don’t eat.

What are some of your or your families favorite meals???

Visit my website! www.ColorWheelmeals.com

Find me on Facebook!!

 

 

 

Kids drinking Homemade Orange Juice!!

Have you ever tasted fresh squeezed orange juice?

Not the kind that you buy at the store in a pretty carton that reads “freshly squeezed” but the kind that is squeezed from fresh oranges right in your own kitchen?

Well, let me tell you it is super delicious!

Everyone knows that oranges are high in Vitamin C but they are also full of antioxidants, B vitamins, potassium, calcium and folate.

Our family purchased an electric citrus juicer a few years ago for roughly $20 and we have been consuming yummy glasses of golden sunshine ever since!

My children hear the sound of the juicer and they come running like cats to a can of shaken treats.  They want to help juice the oranges, they want to lick the orange halves, they want to climb up on the counter and watch.  I have timed the whole process of making fresh juice for my family from cutting the oranges to serving the juice- it only takes about 6 minutes, unless my children are helping in which case it can take a lot longer. :)

As for the cost of oranges I have found the worst deal is to purchase oranges in a netted bag for an outrageous price of $3-$5 a bag which only contains 8-10 oranges.  I buy my oranges at fruit markets where they are sold separately and for much cheaper.  At one fruit market, I can purchase 9 juice oranges for $1.99, sometimes I will buy a case of oranges that contain 100 oranges for around $18.00.

My point in all of this is that it really is not as costly or time consuming as you may think.  An initial investment in an electric citrus juicer, which by the way can also be used to make fresh lemonade, fresh limeade, fresh grapefruit juice and fresh pomegranate juice is truly worth the $$ bills.

I have seen some models costing as little as $12.00.

I would advise not to invest in the non electric model because it takes a lot longer to juice and the kids cannot use this kind of juice maker, I started with one of these and almost gave up making fresh O.J.

Just an FYI about the store bought orange juice- even the ones that say 100% natural and freshly squeezed-are all pasteurized which means it has been heated to kill any harmful bacteria or microorganisms and to help with spoilage on the shelves.  I agree that we do not want any of this stuff in our morning glass of orange juice, but unfortunately with this process the heat can destroy the enzymes, vitamins and minerals that would naturally be found in the juice.  This is why most cartons say fortified because they have to add the “good stuff” back in.   I am not knocking the store bought orange juice, just trying to inspire you to try juicing your own- it is not hard, it is not expensive and and it does not take a lot of time.  Besides, kids love getting involved and making their own fresh juice!!

I hope this blog has inspired you to at least think about trying fresh orange juice and for those of you who know me- if you ever come to my house I can whip you up a fresh glass in no time!!

CHEERS!

Find me on Facebook!!!

Like my recipes??

I have 3 recipe Ebooks available…. read about them here!!

Want to have me speak to your group of friends and share some great tips and recipes??

Read about that here!!

Celebrate St. Patty’s Day with a Green Smoothie!!

greensmoothie2

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

(a little early, I know)

I am not Irish but to be festive I wanted to blog about the GREEN SMOOTHIE!!
I figured if people will go so far as to drink green beer, green milk or eat anything colored or dyed green on this day then why not try a healthy and yummy green smoothie.
A green smoothie is just a fruit smoothie with greens blended in.  By “greens” I mean spinach, romaine, kale, celery or any other green veggie you can imagine!
You have to trust me on this one, the first time I saw and tasted one of these drinks I thought for sure it was going to taste awful, but I was pleasantly surprised that it did not, in fact it was yummy!
My kids even love them!!!
Okay, so now you may be thinking -I can do the fruit smoothie thing but why would I want to ruin it with greens?????
Well, my honest answer is because of  all of the health benefits.
We NEED greens in our diets and besides the occasional salad (which by the way iceburg lettuce does not count) we do not consume enough of this amazing health food.
“Greens” are important because they provide tons of fiber, vitamins (especially vitamin K), minerals, antioxidants, and chlorophyll.  Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color and it is extremely beneficial to us.  It has been proven to increase function of the the heart, lungs, intestines, uterus, and skin.
Chlorophyll has been studied for its amazing potentials in helping:
  • tissue growth
  • red blood cell production
  • anti inflammatory properties
  • wound healing properties

…and these are only a few.

So, how do you make a green smoothie??

First, you start off with some cold water (about 1 cup), add any kind of fruit you like and than a handful of the “greens” of your choice.  Place all of this in a blender and whirl it up!!  Once you have tasted and fallen in love with these green drinks you can start to add more of the green stuff in.

The more you can add the better, but start off with less and work your way up.

Please don’t be afraid to try this- you will not believe how good it tastes and how good it will make you feel!

Here are 2 recipes that my family likes (and yes, my kids like them):

Green Smoothie #1-

1 cup water, 2-3 bananas, 1 mango, 1 cup baby spinach and ice……Blend it up and enjoy!

Green Smoothie #2

(this is more brown due to the fruit I use)

1 cup water, 2-3 bananas, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup baby spinach, ice…..Blend it up and enjoy!

Have you ever tried a Green Smoothie??

Do you have a favorite recipe to share??

Check out my website!!  ColorWheelMeals.com

Find me on Facebook!!!